The official pontoon draw for the men’s triathlon competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games has taken place, with leading men choosing opposing ends of the pontoon for the swim in The Serpentine on Tuesday.
In the blind selection that was conducted at the Hyde Park venue, the top ten athletes in the ITU Olympic qualification rankings were first to select their starting positions. After the occupied positions – but not individual athlete names – were revealed on a big screen, the remaining athletes chose their places. The exact spots of the top ten selections were not shown until the end of the draw.
Dual ITU World Champion Javier Gomez (ESP) was first to choose and he chose the spot on the left edge, 55, while three other athletes in the top-10 lined up beside him, France’s David Hauss and Laurent Vidal in 54 and 53 respectively. Russia’s Dmitry Polyanskiy chose slot 52.
However, Polyanskiy’s teammate Alexander Bryukhankov, who was second to choose his place, picked the opposite end of the pontoon with number 1. Bryukhankov will be flanked by the Brownlee brothers, with Alistair Brownlee picking 2 and Jonathan Brownlee taking 3, with his Russian teammate Ivan Vasiliev just a few slots away in 7. New Zealand’s Kris Gemmell is another strong swimmer on that side, in 9, and two-time Olympic medallist Bevan Docherty will be on his teammate’s shoulder in 10. The reigning Olympic champion Jan Frodeno, and his German temmate Steffen Justus will also start on the edge of the right side of the pontoon in places 6 and 4 respectively.
Slovakia’s Richard Varga, who is considered to be the fastest swimmer in the sport and has been training with the Brownlee brothers for the past month, will start from the middle of the pontoon in slot 25. The entire Australian and Canadian teams will line up together, filling places 41 to 46. Switzerland’s team of Athens bronze medallist Sven Riederer and Ruedi Wild will also line up on that edge, in 50 and 49 respectively. Germany’s Maik Petzold and South Africa’s Richard Murray were next to choose that side, in positions 48 and 47.
The men’s triathlon competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games gets underway at 11.30am (local time) on Tuesday August 7.